“I believe I can beat these guys”: Boxer Jeff Horn is set to take on Manny Pacquiao. Photo: Getty ImagesThe biggest fight in n history has been given the green light. Former schoolteacher Jeff Horn will face the great Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium on July 2, with the bout now officially locked in for a super Sunday in Brisbane.
Fairfax Media understands details were due to be released on Sunday for the bout, which stands to sell out the famous rugby league venue and give local fighter Horn the chance of a lifetime to upset one of the sport’s legends, as well as claim the WBO welterweight crown.
Both camps have now signed their respective contracts and the remaining details between the Queensland Government, stadium management and promoters have been ironed out, even if a spokesperson for Tourism and Events Minister Kate Jones insisted no deal had yet been finalised as of Saturday.
The venue was one of the remaining sticking points but Horn’s promotional company, Duco Events, have ensured it would be fought in front of a partisan home crowd, which they are hoping will fill every seat in the 52,500-seat cauldron.
Earlier in the week, Duco had played down ‘speculation’ about the fight as the final preparations were still being made. But now the countdown can officially begin to what will be one of the biggest sporting events staged in this year.
Pacquiao had been keen to fight Amir Khan in the Middle East but with that fight going up in smoke, the Filipino politician will step out against the 29-year-old Horn, who has 16 wins and a draw in his brief professional career after going pro following the London Olympics.
Pacquiao, 38, retired briefly before coming back to claim the WBO title from Jessie Vargaslast November. He has now entered the final stages of his career and Horn stands to be one of his final opponents.
He would likely begin his training in the Philippines before relocating to Brisbane in the lead-up to the fight. A strong contingent of his fans are expected to travel to Brisbane for the event.
Earlier in the week, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who manages Pacquiao and has a joint-deal with Horn, told theLos Angeles Timesthe deal was essentially done and there was nothing standing in the way of the bout going ahead.
It will likely be a pay-per-view in but could be aired on free-to-air television across the United States. The undercard will be another talking point but it could include heavyweight Alex Leapai, who once challenged Wladimir Klitschko and has come out of retirement.
Horn remains a steady underdog but has been in steady training after the original date in April fell through. He believes he has all the tools to spring an upset on Pacquiao, which could end his career if it came to fruition.
First appeared on the Brisbane Times